Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska National Register Sites
in Holt County

Rural Sites

Eagle Creek Eagle Creek Archeological Site [25-HT-01] Listed 1974/10/01

The mortuary and religious customs of the Late Woodland period (A.D. 600-1000) in eastern Nebraska are known to a great extent through archeological work performed at the Eagle Creek Site (near O'Neill) in the late 1930s.These prehistoric Nebraskans buried their dead and built mounds over the bodies. Grave offerings included pottery vessels, stone tools, and shell or bone ornaments.

Redbird Site I [25-HT-03] Listed 1974/11/21

During the period A.D. 1600-1700 an earthlodge village was established along the lower Niobrara River, near the present-day town of Redbird. The community is rich in cultural remains including at least five circular earthlodges, over 100 storage pits, and a diverse array of artifacts. Based on its location, many have assumed Redbird is ancestral Ponca, although similarities between Redbird and the late prehistoric Pawnee and Arikara are striking.

 Rouse Ranch, pdf [HT00-290] Listed 2013/09/04

As a small homestead that grew into a large ranching operation, the Rouse Ranch represents the development of Holt County from lone prairie to farming and ranching operations. The ranch is representative of the settlement of the area due in large part to the influence of the Homestead Act in drawing pioneers onto the unclaimed land. Located north of O'Neill, the Rouse Ranch is comprised of 12 contributing and 14 non-contributing buildings on 160 acres of land.

Urban Sites

Brantley E. Sturdevant Residence Brantley E. Sturdevant Residence, pdf [HT02-042] Listed 1999/03/25

This house in Atkinson is significant for its association with Brantly Sturdevant. Mr. Sturdevant made significant contributions to the town both politically and through his involvement in various religious and charitable groups. It is also a good example of the Queen Anne cottage building style.

 Moses Kinkaid Building, pdf [HT13-002] Listed 1974/10/01

The brick and sandstone building was constructed in 1882-83. The ground floor provided facilities for banking, and the second floor was used for law offices by Moses Kinkaid, who moved to O'Neill in 1881. Kinkaid served as a district judge and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1902. In 1904 he introduced the Kinkaid Act, which provided for 640-acre homestead claims in western Nebraska. The passage of the Kinkaid Act promoted immigration into the Sand Hills region. These settlers were referred to as "Kinkaiders."

 Golden Hotel, pdf [HT13-003] Listed 1989/11/27

The Golden Hotel, constructed in 1912-13, in O'Neill is significant for its association with the commercial development of O'Neill and with the building boom of second generation hotels that was occurring statewide during the first quarter of the twentieth century. The hotels built during this period, as exemplified by the Golden, were multi-floor, brick buildings that offered the most modern conveniences and catered especially to the businessmen who traveled on the railroad. Aside from providing pleasant quarters for travelers, the new hotels became the symbol of a prospering community with a bright future. For this reason, towns and cities of all sizes thought it was important to showcase a "modern" hotel as an indication of their prominent standing in the state. It is within this context that the importance of the Golden Hotel is realized.

Holt County Courthouse Holt County Courthouse, pdf [HT13-053] Listed 1990/07/05

The county was established in 1876 out of former Knox County territory, the same year residents voted Paddock the county seat. John O'Neill founded an early colony of Irish immigrants in the county, who soon sought the county seat designation. In 1879 the town of O'Neill won a county seat election. The county initially used rented quarters for courthouse purposes and finally constructed the first permanent county courthouse in 1885. Beginning in 1935, the county board took steps to improve county facilities. The county qualified for and received Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works grants and loans to aid in the project. Construction on the new Art Deco-style courthouse began in 1936 and in February 1937 the county formally accepted the building.

Post Office   mural O'Neill United States Post Office, pdf [HT13-131] Listed 1992/05/11

The O'Neill United States Post Office is a one-story, brick building constructed in 1937 in the Georgian Revival style. While the building retains a high degree of integrity, its historical significance derives from the mural painted on the interior wall.

Through New Deal programs such as the Public Works of Art Project and the WPA federal Art Project, thousands of artists were employed. In 1934 the Section of Painting and Sculpture (renamed the Section of Fine Arts in 1938) was organized under the auspices of the Treasury Department to provide murals and sculpture for the many federal buildings constructed during the New Deal era.

Between 1938 and 1942 the Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts (generally known as "the Section") commissioned twelve murals for twelve newly constructed post offices in Nebraska. O'Neill, along with the other eleven post office murals in Nebraska represent the Section's goal of making art accessible to the general population by reserving one percent of new building construction budgets for art.

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Last updated 14 April 2010

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